From Hobby to Hustle: Young law student turns beadwork into business

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UNLIKE many who get sucked into the social media vortex, Jessie Lubansa found inspiration there – in the form of a captivating beaded bag.

What began as a whim to recreate the bag soon blossomed into a thriving business, “Legacy through Crafts.”

Lubansa, a 22-year-old law student’s expressed her creativity did not just confine herself to a textbook. Instead, she wields beads like a magic wand, transforming them into luxurious handbags that are both beautiful and unique.

Born in a family of four, Lubansa has earned herself the title of CEO by using her gifted hands to make luxurious bags and other related exquisite items using beads.

“Before I started Legacy through crafts, I used to crochet. But I found that I wasn’t able to advertise my crocheted products and I wasn’t really interested in wearing them. They were very beautiful but it was not just my style,” explained Lubansa.

“At one point I was on the internet and I saw a beaded pretty bag. It was red in colour. I said to myself, I would love to make something like that. I had made some money from my crochet business so I used it to buy some beads, went home and I started making.”

Although Lubansa made the bag to satisfy her new urge without any experience, her mother liked the bag and bought it from her.

And that started a journey of “forward ever backwards never” as from that sale she managed to buy more material and made another bag which she later advertised on her Whatsapp status.

The 22 year old confessed that her biggest challenge was that she was not aware of the fact that a business is not always glamorous.

“My challenge came mostly from lack of knowledge. I didn’t know how to do business. I had done a few things but this one was my business but I didn’t know how to run because being an entrepreneur isn’t as glamorous as it seems on the internet,” she revealed.

“I found myself failing to price my products at the right price because I could feel sorry for my clients. But this left my business suffering.”

Lubansa stated that some materials needed to make her bags are not found in Zambia and it is challenging at times for her to source for these materials abroad.

However, in some instances, she gets to chance someone travelling out of the country for order and takes advantage to buy her the materials outside the four corners of Zambia.

Being one who makes sure that her products have a certain level of excellence, she strives to make sure that he products suit the unique needs of different clients – perhaps this is what makes her business stand out.

Lubansa told Kalemba that the proudest moment in her business so far was when she got an order from an American client.

“Recently I got my first international order, someone from America ordered and that was so interesting I tell you. From making the bags to shipping, I learn a lot,” she revealed with excitement.

Lubansa’s selflessness has pushed her into educating others on the craft using online platforms and would love to do it even more in future.

The young designer and upcoming lawyer wants to do more with her crafts.

“I would love to have a really good platform where I can teach people different designs,” said Lubansa.

She further advised youths to give their skills, talents and interests a chance to bring them money while they continue balancing it with school.

Lubansa is a third year Law student at Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS) University.

By Catherine Pule

Kalemba, April 3, 2024

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